Officials in the state cattle industry say you shouldn’t be alarmed by the report of a confirmed case of the so-called “Mad Cow” disease in Canada. Nancy Degner, a spokesperson for the Iowa Beef Industry Council, says finding the diseased animal is good news. She says it shows the Canadian system worked and the one animal with the disease was recognized and did not go into the food chain. Degner says the U-S has been on guard for the disease, also known as B-S-E, since the outbreak in Europe. She says the U-S-D-A tested almost 20-thousand animals last year and did not find a case, so she says the systems is working to keep the infected cattle from making it into the U-S. The discovery of the B-S-E prompted U-S officials to close the border to Canadian for cattle imports. Degner says there’s little concern though for the cattle that may’ve been here before the discovery. She says those would be cattle that’re 18 months old, or younger, and B-S-E hits older cattle. She says the cow infected in Canada was eight years old. Degner says there have been restrictions in place now for some time to ban the type of feed that’s believed to have spread the disease in Europe. She says it is against the law in the U-S to feed any protein products that came from bovines to other bovines. The news out of Canada comes as Iowa and the rest of the U-S prepares for the Memorial Day holiday — or what Degner says is the biggest grilling weekend of the year. She says you should be confident about go ahead with your grilling plans. Iowa Ag Secretary Patty Judge issued a statement that her Department is monitoring the situation closely, and also reiterated that there’s no cause for alarm.
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